Christchurch – Last days in NZ


We arrive on monday evening in Chrischurch, the biggest city of South Island.

Between september 2010 and june 2011, three earthquakes hit the area. One of these earthquake really hit the city center and was really destructive. Three years later, you can still see the damages. Infrastructures are currently being repaired, buildings have been demolished or are going to be. The city center is a space quite desolated with lots of construction sites and plenty of empty spaces, waiting to be rebuilt. There are also many “gapfiller” artistic projects made for bringing back life to the city and imagine what could be the city of tomorrow.

Our first moments in Christchurch were a bit odd. We were wandering in the streets in the evening, looking for a place to eat or a supermarket, but we only found deserted streets and abandoned restaurants.

The next day, we still have the whole day to spend in Christchurch before we leave to Sydney. This is the occasion for us to see the city in a whole new light! We took audioguides, lent thanks to one of the gapfiller project, and had a walk in the city. We could realise all the damages made by the earthquake, how was the city before, and what could feel the peopel living here.

At the end of the day, we were invited at Cecile and Guirec’s, a french couple who lives in a suburb of Christchurch and who had worked in the same company than Edouard in Geneva. This was nice to meet them and this was a great end to our trip in NZ!

We are spending the night in Christchurch airport because tomorrow, our plane leaves à 6h30am.

Bye New Zealand, our Australian adventure is now starting for real!

Tekapo > Christchurch

  • From: Tekapo, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Christchurch, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 243km

Today, we are following our way to Christchurch, our last stop-over in New Zealand. Our bus is at 12h45pm so we have time to rest near the lake and to eat some tsaty new zelander pies.

At the office
At the office

12h45pm, it is time to hit the road. We are in a large bus, quite comfortable. I even had the time to make a new friend during the trip!

Seems I found a new friend...
Seems I found a new friend…

Tomorrow, we’ll visit Christchurch before going back to Australia.

Queenstown > Tekapo

  • From: Queenstown, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Tekapo, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 275km

It is time to leave Queenstown. Holidays are over!

We were planning on going to Christchurch with Chris, a kiwi we met on the Milford track, with a rental car needing to be relocated. Unfortunately, this was finally not possible to do so…

We have to change our plans at the last minute and to find a bus to Christchurch. But this have been quite complicated. All the buses were fully booked… No worries, we will make a stop-over in lake Tekapo.

Lake Tekapo is a nice place! But really small compared to Queenstown. We’ll just spend the night so that’s all right. Tomorrow, we are heading to Christchurch!

Milford Track

  • From: Glade Wharf
  • To: Sandfly point
  • Distance: 54km

We are back after our four days hike on the Milford track! Here in New-Zealand, the Milford Track is considered as one of the world’s finest hike.

Our inukshuk
Our inukshuk

We really had a great time and we have been very lucky with the weather. The area is usually very wet, but during these four days, it has been mostly sunny.

Panoramic view from the Mackinnon pass. Nice weather, isn’t it ?

Here is a selection of pictures taken during the hike:

Wanaka > Queenstown

  • From: Wanaka, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Queenstown, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 67km

From Wanaka, we have to reach Queenstown. We really have to be there on Monday night because on Tuesday, we’ll leave at 7 am for a four days hike! We checked the bus schedules but the hours are not very convenient… From what we’ve seen so far, it seems that hitchhiking is easy here. Plus, the guy in our hostel advise us to do so. So here we go again!

Quite early in the morning, we stand on a road which basicaly only leads to Queenstown. This should easily do the trick. Indeed 10 minutes later, Jack, an australian guy who’s working as a canoyoning guide here in Wanaka, picks us up. One hour later, we arrive in Queenstown. Easy!


We have now the whole day to enjoy the city. Queenstoxn is a bit like Wanaka, but much bigger. There is a beautiful blue lake and montains on the background. We hire bikes at our hostel to have a ride along the lake. Such a wonderful way to discover the area! Then we try the Fergburger (apparently a must-try in Queenstown!) and have a walk in city center. A real holiday!


This is actually a good thing because tomorrow we leave for a four days hike: the Milford Track, the most famous hike in NZ!

Nelson > Wanaka : Hitchhiking at its best !

  • From: Nelson, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Wanaka, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 744km

Today, we are leaving Nelson where we really had a great time. Our plan is to be in Queenstown in three days. It will be our base camp for the Milford Track, our last hike in NZ. We are planning on doing the trip in three days, with one step-over in Greymouth, and one step-over in Franz Joseph (on the west coast). The challenge is to hitchhike our way there. Let’s go!

At 10 am, we are ready to go, thumbs up, waiting for a car to pick us up. We don’t wait very long. In 5 minutes, someone takes us and drops us off at the edge of the city, where it should be better to catch a ride.

5-10 minutes later, we are waiting again, but not for a long time because someone drives us to Wakefield, 30 km from Nelson. Here, there is less traffic but it should be all right.

We wait another 15 minutes. A nice old man takes us ans drops us off a bit further. This was not such a good idea though because we are now in the middle of nowhere, along a 100km/h limited road where no car can park… The best spot to hitchhike ever!

It is now noon. Sun is shining (at least!). We wait 10 minutes. Nobody stop. We try to find a better spot but ther is nothing around us. Another 10 minutes. Still nothing. Now we really are getting a bit less confident…

And then, coming out of nowhere, an old car stops. “Where are you guys going?” “Greymouth” “Perfect it’s on my way, I’m going to Wanaka!”

And that’s how we met Emil, our savior! Emil is a swedish guy, really kind, and we get on well with him. The funny part is that we will finally go to Wanaka with him, more than 700 km from Nelson! Hitchhiking at its best!

Why didn’t we stop in Greymouth you should ask ? Because we are having a great time hitting the road with Emil, and because there is nothing to do in Greymouth (we stop there for lunch).

Homemade Chicken Couscous by Emil
Homemade Chicken Couscous by Emil

At the end of the day, we are still far from Wanaka, so we decide to camp near Franz Joseph glacier with Emil.

The next day, we are back on the road. We even take the time to take a short walk to see Fox Glacier with Emil.

At the end of the afternoon, we finally arrive in Wanaka where Emil helps us to find our hostel for the night (we told you he was a really nice guy!).


Wanaka is a pretty city surrounded by mountaine and boarding a lake. We are quite happy to be here, this is a nice surprise. We are now just 70 km away from Queenstown. It was really nice to meet Emil. Thanks again! Maybe we’ll see him again in Australia because he may go there after NZ!

Abel Tasman Track: a taste of paradise!

  • From: Marahau
  • To: Wainui
  • Distance: 61km

It is a National Park located on the North of the South Island. Its distinctive feature is the beautiful beaches all along the coast, that you can access only by feet, kayak, or small boats. There is a coast track and that’s where we’ve hiked during the last four days!

Have a look at our pictures to discover what it looks like!

Wellington > Nelson

  • From: Picton, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Nelson, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 107km

This morning another long day is planned… We have to travel from Wellington to Nelson. This means taking a ferry from Wellington (on the north island) to Picton (on the south island). Then ride a bus from Picton to Nelson…

We leave Wellington by the 9am ferry. This morning the sea is a bit rough but it is ok… We arrive safe in Picton ! A bus is waiting for us to go to Nelson.

Once in Nelson, we go to the grocery store to prepared the next days: we are going on a 4 days trek in the Abal Tasman National Park.

Turangi > Wellington

  • From: Turangi, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • To: Wellington, Nouvelle-Zélande
  • Distance: 322km

We have now to say good bye to our friends Kim & Nico. They are going back to Auckland to catch their flight back to France. Apparently, they had a great time in NZ. Thanks buddies, we really enjoyed spending the week with you here!

On our side, we are going South to Wellington, where we will take the ferry to South Island.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

  • From: Mangatepopo
  • To: Ketetahi
  • Distance: 22km

Today, we are doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, probably the most beautiful one-day hike in NZ! And we are lucky because the weather is sunny. This is a 19.4 km hike in the Tongariro National Park. There are 2 optional side-tracks: Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe (some scenes of the lord of the ring where shot there). We decide to climb Mount Ngauruhoe, which was quite challenging, but the view up ther is amazing!

The track crosses astonishing volcanic landscapes (red crater, emerald lakes, …)

Have a look a the pictures to get an idea!